New look for nutrition facts label

May 25, 2016

Food, Beverage & Agriculture Alert

Author(s): Tracey B. Scarpello, Vivian M. Quinn

Last week, the FDA released its final rule to implement changes to the Nutrition Facts panel (click here to read). As we previously reported,[1] these revisions are the first in over a decade and seek to help consumers make more informed food choices.

The most significant change to the nutrition label is the requirement to include “added sugars.” The final rule requires “Includes X g Added Sugars” to be included under “Total Sugars” to help consumers understand how much sugar has been added to a product. In adopting this new requirement, the FDA explained that it is “difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar, and this is consistent with the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

Other highlights of the final rule include:

  • “Calories” and “serving size” are required to be in bold and increased type size.
  • “Calories from fat” will be removed because research shows that the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Serving sizes will more closely reflect the amount of food people actually eat; not what they should be eating.
  • For packages that are between one and two servings, such as a 20-ounce soda or a 15-ounce can of soup, calories and other nutrients are required to be labeled as one serving because it is usually consumed in one sitting.
  • A “dual column” label is required to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for certain products that are larger than a single serving but that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
  • Vitamins A and C are no longer required to appear on the label.

Most companies will have until July 26, 2018 to comply. Companies with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have until July 26, 2019 to comply.

  1. Please refer to our prior alerts, “Fresh look proposed for "Nutrition Facts" labels” (February 28, 2014) and “Proposed revision of nutrition facts label would include percent daily value for added sugars” (August 4, 2015).
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